Shot that killed Italian 'came from area held by soldiers'
Shots were fired from the direction of positions taken up by military personnel on May 19, 2010 as the red-shirt protesters were being dispersed, German journalist Michel Maas told Criminal Court judges yesterday as the last witness in the inquest into the death of Italian photo-journalist Fabio Polenghi.
"Bullets came from the direction of the military," Maas, who is based in Jakarta and works for NOS Radio & Televisi, told the judges. Maas was at the protest site on May 19 nearly three years ago as the Army moved in. He told the court that he was also shot in the back as he tried to flee. He said he had not known Polenghi, and only learned about his death while he was himself being treated at Police Hospital for his bullet injury.
Maas said the bullet that hit him came from the direction of the military, and that the bullet, which was lodged inside his body for five weeks, was later identified by Department of Special Investigation (DSI) experts as an M16 rifle round. The bullet was given to the DSI as evidence, Maas told the court.
The Criminal Court will on May 29 make a ruling in the inquest into Polenghi's death. The journalist's sister, Elisabetta Polenghi, flew in from Italy to be at the hearing yesterday. She was upset that two other witnesses, including one foreign national who videotaped the moment her brother fell, were not allowed to testify as judges said their testimony would be redundant to the trial.
"I'm pretty tired," Polenghi told The Nation.